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ELECTION LOCATION REGULATIONS: Voting comes at an up-front cost

November 8, 2013

COLUMBIA CITY — Polling locations require more than a simple ballot box and voting booth.

To comply with state regulations, the county will invest in upgrading several locations throughout the county to be ready for primary elections in May of 2014.

Debbie Beers is Whitley County’s clerk of the courts and oversees the voting process. She approached County Council members Tuesday to ask for funds up front in the work needed to make locations meet state standards.

“There is a grant for up to $5,000,” Beers said. “However, it is a reimbursable grant. We would have to spend the money first and then have the grant reimburse the county.”

According to Beers’ assessment, some of the more rural polling locations are lacking adequate parking.

Paved parking spots are necessary for those who are handicapped or disabled.

“We have to have handicapped-accessible locations,” Beers said. “Something as simple as a threshold that is slightly raised can be cause of noncompliance.”

Beers toured all 19 voting locations in the county. Making a checklist on what needs to be addressed, Beers is working with the location owners to correct items of concern.

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